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BMC Ecol ; 20(1): 70, 2020 12 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33334346


BACKGROUND: Earlier breeding is one of the strongest responses to global change in birds and is a key factor determining reproductive success. In most studies of climate effects, the focus has been on large-scale environmental indices or temperature averaged over large geographical areas, neglecting that animals are affected by the local conditions in their home ranges. In riverine ecosystems, climate change is altering the flow regime, in addition to changes resulting from the increasing demand for renewable and clean hydropower. Together with increasing temperatures, this can lead to shifts in the time window available for successful breeding of birds associated with the riverine habitat. Here, we investigated specifically how the environmental conditions at the territory level influence timing of breeding in a passerine bird with an aquatic lifestyle, the white-throated dipper Cinclus cinclus. We relate daily river discharge and other important hydrological parameters, to a long-term dataset of breeding phenology (1978-2015) in a natural river system. RESULTS: Dippers bred earlier when winter river discharge and groundwater levels in the weeks prior to breeding were high, and when there was little snow in the catchment area. Breeding was also earlier at lower altitudes, although the effect dramatically declined over the period. This suggests that territories at higher altitudes had more open water in winter later in the study period, which permitted early breeding also here. Unexpectedly, the largest effect inducing earlier breeding time was territory river discharge during the winter months and not immediately prior to breeding. The territory river discharge also increased during the study period. CONCLUSIONS: The observed earlier breeding can thus be interpreted as a response to climate change. Measuring environmental variation at the scale of the territory thus provides detailed information about the interactions between organisms and the abiotic environment.

Hidrologia , Passeriformes , Animais , Cruzamento , Mudança Climática , Ecossistema
Ecol Evol ; 8(8): 4065-4073, 2018 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29721280


Interactions between birds and fish are often overlooked in aquatic ecosystems. We studied the influence of Atlantic salmon and brown trout on the breeding population size and reproductive output of the white-throated dipper in a Norwegian river. Acidic precipitation led to the extinction of salmon, but salmon recolonized after liming was initiated in 1991. We compared the dipper population size and reproductive output before (1978-1992) and after (1993-2014) salmon recolonization. Despite a rapid and substantial increase in juvenile salmon, the breeding dipper population size and reproductive output were not influenced by juvenile salmon, trout, or total salmonid density. This might be due to different feeding strategies in salmonids and dippers, where salmonids are mainly feeding on drift, while the dipper is a benthic feeder. The correlation between the size of the dipper population upstream and downstream of a salmonid migratory barrier was similar before and after recolonization, indicating that the downstream territories were not less attractive after the recolonization of salmon. Upstream dipper breeding success rates declined before the recolonization event and increased after, indicating improved water quality due to liming, and increasing invertebrate prey abundances and biodiversity. Surprisingly, upstream the migratory barrier, juvenile trout had a weak positive effect on the dipper population size, indicating that dippers may prey upon small trout. It is possible that wider downstream reaches might have higher abundances of alternative food, rending juvenile trout unimportant as prey. Abiotic factors such as winter temperatures and acidic precipitation with subsequent liming, potentially mediated by prey abundance, seem to play the most important role in the life history of the dipper.